<
>

Name change: MCI Center to be Verizon Center

WASHINGTON -- The MCI Center is about to become the Verizon
Center.

Verizon Communications Inc. completed its purchase of MCI Inc.
on Friday, making way for a change at the home of the Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics. The name switch will officially take
place sometime before the end of March.

The 20,000-seat arena, built by Wizards owner Abe Pollin, opened
in downtown Washington in December 1997 and has spurred an economic
revitalization of the surrounding neighborhood. It hosts an average
of 220 events per year, including Georgetown basketball, concerts
and other shows.